In 2016, Yamaha Marine introduced a prototype of its HARMO electric outboard system in Europe. An updated version is already available in Europe, but today the company announced the new system’s availability in the United States. American boat builders are already testing to see which of their models will get the new technology and Yamaha estimates consumers will begin seeing HARMO-equipped boat packages within the next 18 months.
“HARMO is the perfect system for horsepower or internal-combustion restricted waterways,” says Ben Speciale, president of Yamaha Marine’s U.S. Business Unit. “Ultimately, it is up to our boatbuilder customers to decide how to integrate it into their boats, and we are eager to see the result.”
According to Yamaha, HARMO is a complete electric outboard system. Propulsion comes from a rim-drive electric motor. The motor is mounted around the outside edge of the specially encased four-blade aluminum impeller. The 3.7 kW motor runs off a 48-volt power supply and delivers 225 pounds of static thrust. The motor unit weighs 121 pounds and runs in virtual silence
Yamaha tested the system on a Skeeter fishboat hull, which showed that it can troll for 7 to 8 hours at 2 to 4 miles per hour.
HARMO features integrated digital-electric steering and Helm Master EX joystick control. The system provides spin-on-a-dime capability. The motor can tilt up to 74 degrees which takes it completely out of the water.
HARMO can be fitted as a single or twin-unit installation. In the twin configuration it can maneuver a boat up to 32 feet in length.
Yamaha is no stranger to electric drives. Its products include electric golf carts, personal mobility devices, electric motorcycles, power-assisted bicycles, electric wheelchairs and drones.
Pricing for the system is not yet available.